Rancho Santa Fe (Spanish: santa—holy, fe—faith) known locally as ″The Ranch″, is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California, United States, within the San Diego metropolitan area. With an estimated (2010) median income of $188,859, it is on the list of highest income communities in the United States with a population of at least 1,000. The population was 3,117 at the 2010 census, down from 3,252 at the 2000 census. The CDP is primarily residential with a few shopping blocks, a middle and elementary school, several restaurants and single family residential areas situated on primarily 1-3 acre parcels. .
In 2011, Forbes reported Rancho Santa Fe as having the fourteenth most expensive ZIP code in the United States (down from second place in both 2006 and 2007), and fourth most expensive in California (most expensive California ZIP in 2007), with a 2011 median home sale price of $2,585,000. Some homes in ZIP code 92067 but not within the CDP are valued at more than the median home-value within the Master Planned Community that makes up the official CDP, and many people who live within the 92067 ZIP code cite their community as Rancho Santa Fe even though they do not live within the strict boundaries of the Master Planned Community known as "The Covenant" of Rancho Santa Fe. In 2012, CNN Money / OnBoard LLC reported Rancho Santa Fe, with 96%, rated number one in the US ZIP code list of neighborhoods with the highest percentage of million-dollar homes.
Rancho Santa Fe (RSF) has its origins as Rancho San Dieguito, a Mexican land grant made during 1836–1845 to Juan María Osuna (the first mayor or alcalde of the San Diego area). In 1906 it was sold to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, which renamed it after the second transcontinental railroad to reach California. As previously mentioned, the Railway planted extensive groves of eucalyptus trees in the hope of having a near-inexhaustible supply of raw material for the railway ties they needed to expand their Western American market. Eucalyptus wood, however, proved too brittle; unable to hold railway spikes.
Rancho Santa Fe gained popularity when Bing Crosby bought the storied Osuna Ranch in 1936. He invited all of his Hollywood cronies down to enjoy the peace and quiet of the country, and to play the Rancho Santa Fe golf course. In 1937, he launched the first Bing Crosby Pro Am Tournament. The same year, Crosby, along with fellow actors Pat O'Brien, Gary Cooper, Oliver Hardy and Joe E. Brown, opened the Del Mar Race Track. Crosby's "fun golf tournaments," which included Hollywood celebrities matched with owners, jockeys, and trainers from the area, drew great crowds to the Ranch. Rancho Santa Fe became a popular destination.
The public library in Rancho Santa Fe is a branch of the San Diego County Library system, and is open to all California residents. The Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild owns the building and land that house the Rancho Santa Fe Library, as well as providing the staff for the children's room.